We arrived at Bryan Station High School this morning for the STEM Fair among a throng of children and adults and amid a cold drizzle. Armed with a fully-operational Mindtriggerz computer, a few spare parts and several dozen penguin candies and cookies (thank you, Sarah) - we took our place at booth 329 conveniently located next to Dunbar's table.
It took Jon, James and the fashionably late Chris about 5 and 1/2 minutes to get the machines set up and running. It took me considerably longer to rearrange but once the cookie bags were opened a steady stream of young folks and not so young folks streamed in, stopped for awhile, lingered over the treats and learned about what we are doing and why. Par for the course, "Tux Type" (aka "Type Faster") was a BIG hit among the students. We actually placed a chair by the computer and had a variety of people jockeying for their turn at the game. At one point even Thomas from Dunbar had to take his turn - he stunned the onlookers with his mad typing skillz! Several of the kids were sent flying with a Mindtriggerz business card and directions on where to find Tux Type to download from online. YEAH, OPEN SOURCE!!!
I was concerned about being emotionally strong enough to handle talking to so many people about the Jesse Higginbotham Technology Trust but for whatever reason (I'd like to think it was somehow Jesse) I found the resources and with the help of the "guys" we had what I consider a very successful day. Many adults stood and talked and took information and lauded the work - I even had the chance to meet one of Jesse's day-care teachers. She told me how much she loved Jesse and what a great kid he'd been to teach and I am hopeful now that her 17 year old son who LOVES computers might come join us in our work.
We met a lot of great people who want to contribute and frankly, that is more than even I could have hoped would happen today. As the event began to wind down we had a visit from Superintendent Stu Silberman who asked that I send him the link for "Tux Type" - oh and yeah, he had a penguin cookie too! Thomas cornered the Channel 13 camera man and Jon gave a wonderful interview for Fayette County School's news channel. Sarah's dad even showed up and was given full license to eat as many cookies as he wanted (he only had one).
I'm sending lots of LUVZ right now to James, Jon, Chris and everyone who is and has been part of the Mindtriggerz team. TY, ty, ty.
Meanwhile, Jerome was hopping at the Park training lab - he had six families and a total of ten kids who spent the day learning about the computers and software. The lab was busy from the arrival of the first kids at 10am to the last family that left at 1:50pm. Thankfully, Joycie was there to help him the entire time. (Side note to Joyce - thank you for your patience!) One family today showed up with a copy of the flyer that Cardinal Valley Elementary distributed - it was a wonderful informational page printed on bright yellow paper in both English and Spanish. Thank you, CVE!
We are thankful to so many - to everyone who has helped in any way. From distributing flyers, to fixing machines, to donating old systems, to allowing us to have a booth at the STEM fair. To each and every person who in some way remembers Jesse by helping us do "good stuff" in his name.